Grad Student Preps for Pro Bono Marathon

Below is a Press Release that I sent to the University of Waterloo Public Relations department. I thought it worth sharing for any who might be interested. Maybe I’ll get published!  CreateAthon Booklet-1

CAMBRIDGE, Ontario – September 16, 2008 – For the third consecutive year, Punch Integrated Communications is participating in CreateAthon®, a 24hour marathon of pro bono advertising and marketing services for selected non-profit organizations. This year, Punch will again provide over $100,000 in campaign materials for 10 local charities in the Waterloo Region, including the Food Bank, Special Olympics Ontario, kidsLINK, and the Waterloo Regional Block Parent Program. Punch is the only company in Southwestern Ontario participating in this year’s CreateAthon, and one of only three in Canada. But this year Punch has a new writer: University of Waterloo coop student, Allan McDougall.

Createathon_08_Sign“I’m in the MA program in the Department of English Language and Literature, and I’m currently on an eight-month cooperative placement term as a copywriter at Punch,” says McDougall. “My research interests are the intersections of literary studies with healing and rehabilitation, specifically focusing on prisoners. Punch’s senior copywriter recently accepted a position at a local technology company and so now I’m the only writer, which is a great opportunity. I’m excited to do the copywriting for CreateA thon as this will help out so many worthy organizations. One campaign that I’m dying to write for is the Block Parents of Ontario; Block Parent enrollment has dropped by over 2000 members in the last three years and we’re going to get them back in the public eye with an exciting new PR campaign.”

For the past two CreateAthons, Punch has produced projects valued in excess of $200,000. The work has ranged from brochures, posters and print ads to more advanced services, such as videos, new identity materials and marketing/public relation plans. Punch has helped a range of local non-profit organizations supporting learning disabilities, terminal illness, crises counseling, teen homelessness, and sustainable living.

Ed Roszczka, President of Punch Integrated Communications, adds, “The Punch team is once again eager to contribute within our community by participating in this year’s CreateAthon, and supporting our first co-op student, Allan. CreateAthon makes a difference in our community and the emotional responses from these special clients leave us all changed. We’re pleased Allan can contribute to our team.”

The 24-hour marketing marathon will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 and the new marketing campaigns and materials will be presented to the charitable organizations at 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 19. Punch graphic designers and copywriters will work through the night, with the support of the account and project management teams—not to mention numerous cups of coffee. McDougall’s story is a fine example of how UW cooperative placements do more than just drive local industry: his participation in CreateAthon will help local non-profit organizations . . . one word at a time. Local media are welcome to join the Punch team and local nonprofits in kicking off the 2008 CreateAthon.

About Punch

Punch Integrated Communications Inc. ( develops highly effective employee communications programs for improving culture and operations in areas such as loss prevention and safety for leading retailers throughout North America. Punch, headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s fastest growing privately held companies.

About CreateAthon®
Since 2002, RIGGS expanded CreateAthon’s scope to a national level. To date, 40 advertising and marketing firms across North America have joined the CreateAthon® network and have pledged to hold 24-hour creative marathons in their respective markets. The effort has helped more than 1008 nonprofit organizations by delivering 2,143 marketing projects valued in excess of $8.5 million. For more information on the program, please visit the web site at

Picture 527

(Me at work)

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(Me trying to look smart by standing near some books)

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(Me being silly)

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